The family of Robert Ethan Saylor, a man with Down syndrome who died after three off-duty Frederick County sheriff deputies forced him from a movie theater, have reached a settlement with the state of Maryland, the deputies and the management company of the shopping center where the theater is located.
The $1.9 million settlement will mark the end of a long-standing lawsuit and comes more than five years after Saylor’s death led to public outrage and a call for better training of law enforcement officials.
“There’s a cliche that you can’t assign a dollar amount to a human being’s life, but that is our system, that’s the only remedy we have for justice in our system,” Saylor’s mother, Patti Saylor, said Tuesday.
More than 460 people have died in encounters with police across Canada since the year 2000, and a substantial majority suffered from mental health problems or symptoms of drug abuse, a CBC News investigation has found.
No government agency or police force maintains national statistics on police-involved fatalities, but a comprehensive database assembled by CBC shows that 70 per cent of the people who died struggled with mental health issues or substance abuse or both.
The family of a man who died in police custody have criticised the Crown Office for failing to decide whether to charge officers who restrained him. Sheku Bayoh , 31, lost consciousness after being restrained by officers in Kirkcaldy in May 2015.
But after almost three years his family have still not been told whether anyone will be prosecuted. Bayoh’s sister Kadi Johnson has demanded to know why it’s taken so long for a decision to be made on criminal charges.